The budget session of the state legislature began on a stormy note on Thursday, with BSP members creating pandemonium during the Governor’s address to the joint sitting of both houses in protest against the government’s all-round failure and the death of Kumbh pilgrims in the stampede at the Allahabad railway station last Sunday.
Amid constant barracking, Governor B L Joshi completed the formality by reading a few lines from the first and the last para of his address and left.
As soon as the Governor arrived, BSP members stood up and started raising anti-government slogans. Some of them also climbed on the reporters desk. They wore paper caps, bearing anti-government slogans. Some carried placards, while others threw paper balls towards the Governor as began reading his address.
The security staff surrounded the Governor to prevent BSP members from reaching the podium and to stop the paper balls. Amidst the din, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Azam Khan stated that the previous regime of BSP was run by goondas. The Governor remarked: “If you do not want to listen to me, I will finish by reading out first and last words.” As his words had no effect, Joshi left the house after completing the formality.
The BJP members remained absent as the party had decided to boycott the Governor’s address, while Congress and RLD stood on their seats as a mark of protest, but they did not join in slogan-shouting.
Later, talking to reporters, Leader of Opposition in the Assembly Swami Prasad Maurya and Leader of Opposition in the Council Naseemuddin Siddiqui demanded dismissal of the Akhilesh Yadav government for its failure on all accounts. Defending their action, Maurya stated: “The Governor did not give any assurance on the issue raised by us, he read the official document so we protested.”
BSP members also walked out of both houses when these assembled after the Governor’s address. After tabling of papers, both houses were adjourned to meet again on Monday.